The Perils of Press: BBC Interview of Professor From Home Goes Viral

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 1.58.26 PMAs someone who has done interviews at home with four kids and a large dog, this is an all too familiar scene.  Professor Robert Kelly learned of these dangers as he tried to explain the implications of the impeachment of South Korea President Park Geun-hye live on BBC.

Years ago, I had a birthday party for one of the boys and hired a mobile zoo to come to the house to host a small petting zoo.  The kids were incredibly excited but, as soon as the animals arrived, it began to rain and the farmer said he had to take the animals home.  The kids were crest-fallen.  With my wife at the store, I made the command decision (always a dangerous proposition) to tell the farmer to bring the animals into the house.  Leslie arrived to see with horror goats, rabbits, sheep and other animals roving around.  In the midst of all of this, I have a live national radio interview after the party.  Just as the host said that I was speaking live from “my home in Alexandria Va,” I realized that a sheep was in my den as the farmer was collecting the remaining animals.  Just as the interview started, the sheep began to bleat.    After the interview, one of the engineers asked (on “behalf of many listeners” what a sheep was doing in my home.  I explained it was a petting zoo for the kids only to have the engineer say “Riiight.”)

As W.C. Fields said, “Never work with animals or children.”



33 thoughts on “The Perils of Press: BBC Interview of Professor From Home Goes Viral”

  1. The wife was concentrating on recording the interview off the TV with her phone. The Professor forgot to lock his study door. Due to the slight delay on the TV, Mom did not realize the kids had gone to the study until she saw them on the TV. They were both afraid that BBC would be upset with him, but BBC thought it was hilarious and requested permission to share it on social media. Millions of viewers later, they are rock stars!!

    1. FFS – up to now we have been concentrating on the family. Think how hard it was to keep a straight face for the interviewer. 😉

  2. Now, my question for Professor Turley – when the sheep started bleating in his office, did he laugh, mention it, or just plow on as if ignoring it meant that the listeners couldn’t hear it? I noticed that the engineer didn’t ask about it until after the interview. So did Professor Turley just speak over a loudly bleating sheep, as if nothing was wrong, and the interviewer did likewise?

  3. The woman looked so panicked as she exploded in there. I imagined she must have lost sight of the baby for 5 seconds, and had a total heart attack, and just knew the kids were interrupting her husband’s live broadcast for millions of people. She flew that doorway like there was a grizzly hot on her heels. And then she was on her hands and knees, like if she crouched really, really low, she was invisible. And he gets the prize for best attempt at a straight face, again, as if keeping a serious expression means that the circus in the background is invisible.

    I think he should have just dragged his daughter on his lap and continued the interview. Maybe not the most professional situation in the world, but we’d all be going, “Ahhhhhhhh.”

    I love parent bloopers. We’ve all had them, and they’re the stories I imagine we’ll most enjoy when the kids grow up.

    1. Karen – there must be a seat just for the daughter just by the computer that he pushed her in and then she relaxed in before mama bear got her. The funniest is the baby, just whipped in like s/he owned the place. Reminded me of the robots from Dr. Who.

  4. It is clear the kids love their father and that mom loves dad. No more needs be said. Loved the kid in the roller, really has it down.

  5. Of course, this is adorable. Funny. Cute. Endearing. No question about it.

    Now, for a moment–just tweak one element of the story. Just one. Change the gender of the individual on camera. Let’s imagine, for a moment, that the esteemed professor is, instead, a woman. Would the reaction, by the public, be somewhat different to this clip? Would the viewers, instead, be questioning why a supposed consummate professional, and a learned one, at that, not be capable of separating her professional life from her personal one? I strongly suspect that many would do just that, perceiving her as weak and incapable of separating herself from the responsibilities of domestic life. We would hear how adorable and funny these kids were, but we would also hear how unprofessional she appeared, on camera, to have this transpiring in the background. It would be a different narrative. I can assure you. Fascinating that such a concept never arises when it is a man, at home, and unable to escape two toddlers, while he is broadcasting.

  6. I wonder if the horrified, subservient woman in the background is his wife or his (now former) nanny/housekeeper?

    The professor is a model parent: at least he didn’t swear at any of them.

    1. How is hustling your children out of a room ‘subservient’?

      The man emigrated, changed his scholarly subdscipline, and learned Korean. Seems to be putting in some effort on her behalf.

  7. It was staged. The woman who comes in — in a tizzy- gives it all away.
    The professor, like many, looks like a dork.

  8. What hit me is that he looked quite aged to have children that age. I see from da iterwebz he’s an American living in Korea and that he’s 45 years old. With two children, they’re already well over the total fertility rate for South Korea.

    His wife is evidently Korean. She seemed awfully frantic all things considered, and made for more of a distraction than the children were.

  9. I saw this on the news. It was funny enough when the toddler came in an was pulling on Dad’s sleeve, then the baby came round the door in her walker and I lost it. After they were removed, they sounded mighty peeved….. Geez what a guy has to go through to make a buck. The kids were probably excited to get in the door and see him.

    1. I hope someone gives them a copy so they can play it at the kids’ graduations!

    2. He appears to have tenure It’s curious he’s in Korea. His writings prior to 2009 include nothing on Asia specifically. He lists his current employment at Pusan National University, but no other teaching positions. He appears to have had non-academic employment from 1994 to 2000, but he gives no indication of what that was. The introductory pages of his dissertation indicate he was employed in the district office of an Ohio congressman. All of his schooling he received in the Ohio state system and his father was evidently a professor somewhere therein. He evidently did not marry his grad school girlfriend, who is thanked in the dissertation. Guy evidently speaks several languages. Learning Korean must have been a bear.

    3. I heard that the kids speak with their US Granny on Skype. The Grandmother said they heard voices from the computer and thought it was time to talk to her!! Absolutely delightful. Children are more important than anything, even media exposure.

      1. So nice to see family life up close. I FaceTime with my grandchildren and my daughter. They live outside Osan AFB. It’s the next best thing to being there.

  10. Goats Need Love Too!
    (music- to tune of Jerry Jeff Walker song)

    Oh, its up against the wall Redneck Mothers!
    Mothers who have raised a son so well.
    He’s 34 and drinkin in honky tonks.
    Kicking hippies arses and raisin hell.

    He sure do like… that Falstaff beer.
    Likes to chase it down with that Wild Turley liquor.

    Got a ’57 GMC pickup truck.
    With a gun rack. Goat ropers need love too sticker..

    And its up against the wall Redneck Mothers!

    —- end

    Now. Turley. Explain about the Wild Turley liquor.

  11. I would have loved to see the look on Mrs. Turley’s face as she saw the farm truck in the driveway and thinking to herself,
    “No he didn’t”….”No HE didn’t”.
    And then walked into the house….

    1. And hoping the animals didn’t leave any presents at the party, too.

  12. Pingback: POWERS OF THE MIND
  13. I cannot believe that Professor Turley is failing to cover the most heinous scandals of our time. The Trump administration, in less than three months has been involved in no less than 3 utterly reprehensible scandals of a magnitude so great that I fear the country may be torn apart:




    Thank goodness that the mainstream media’s in-depth investigative reporters have been delving into these horrifying scandals, while Professor Turley continues to focus on trivial matters.

  14. the tape of the professor is just so wonderful, in a way. Every time I see it, I laugh, when, after one child ambles in, the baby just rolls her/himself in…. incredible. And the panic of what I assume is the nanny… to gather it all back to the area outside the study. Classic.

    May not rise to a petting zoo in the house but a classic…

    1. That’s his wife, Kim Jung-a. She a lot younger than he is and quite a babe.

      She wasn’t his graduate school girlfriend and he wasn’t a specialist in Asia at the time he completed his dissertation.

      Interesting she married him and gave her children English names. Koreans at one time were quite resistant to miscegenation of any kind.

Comments are closed.